REVIEW: POWER RANGERS – SEASON 4-7

CAST

Catherine Sutherland (The Cell)
Nakia Burrise (Bones)
Steve Cardeanas (A Brother’s Badge)
Johnny Yong Bosch (Marvel Anime: BLade)
Jason David Frank (The One Warrior)
David Yost (Degenerat)
Paul Schrier (Wicked Games)
Jason Narvy (Masked Rider)
Gregg Bullock (Evil Acts)
Richard Genelle (The Death Merchant)
Austin St. John (Footsteps)
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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Carla Perez (VR Troopers)
Richard Steven Horvitz (The Angry Beavers)
Robert Axelrod (The Blob)
Kerrigan Mahan (Dr. Dolittle)
David Senstrom (Masked Rider)
Alex Borstein (Family Guy)
Traci Belushi (Big Bad Beetleborgs)
Bob Papenbrook (Jeepers Creepers 2)
Karim Prince (Buffy)
Barbara Goodson (Akira)
Sarah Brown (VR Troopers)
Brad Hawkins (VR Troopers)
Rajia Baroudi (Starship: Rising)
Royce Herron (Rocky Road)
David Bacon (Hidden Passion)

Power Rangers: Zeo is possibly Power Rangers at it’s best (or Power Rangers in Space). Although the original costumes, command center, zords, and villains have become the main icons for Power Rangers, I personally love the costumes, zords, the power chamber (wow, it looks so cool), and the new villains. The Machine Empire are very entertaining villains, but we get the feeling that they’re also very evil. During the first portion of the show, before we get much storyline, the episodes are absolutely fantastic. It’s great. We then start to move away from individual episodes to having more storyline in the overall show when Tommy goes on a personal journey, and we find out about his brother. We then get a bunch of episodes about the mysterious gold ranger, and as soon as we find out who he is, Jason returns and gets the powers. We then see the Machine Empire changing leaders around, until the final couple of episodes. Power Rangers: Zeo also includes my favorite Power Rangers Christmas/Holiday special, one that celebrates the many different holiday.

CAST

Catherine Sutherland (The Cell)
Nakia Burrise (Bones)
Johnny Yong Bosch (Marvel Anime: BLade)
Jason David Frank (The One Warrior)
Blake Foster (Kid’s World)
Paul Schrier (Wicked Games)
Jason Narvy (Masked Rider)
Gregg Bullock (Evil Acts)
Tracy Lynn Cruz (Eastside)
Roger Velasco (Castle Rock)
Patricia Ja Lee (Hollywood Kills)
Selwyn Ward (A Simple Promise)
Hilary Shepard (Full House)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Richard Steven Horvitz (The Angry Beavers)
Steven Cardenas (A Brother’s Badge)
Lesley Pedersen (Hot Air)
Royce Herron (Rocky Road)
Carol Hoyt (Sasori In USA)
Bob Papenbrook (Jeepers Creepers 2)
Kristina Anapau (Cursed)
Ali Afshar (Masked Rider)
Ken Merckz (Orgazmo)
Barret Swatek (2 Broke Girls)

Power Rangers: Turbo is considered by many fans to be one of the worst. However, I think it had some fantastic episodes, and even though it wasn’t always as epic as previous seasons, it was still very enjoyable. With Turbo, they’re up against a whiny woman with her clumsy henchmen, and they have new car-themed powers. Although the new villain, Divatox, is nowhere near as menacing as the Machine Empire (or even Rita and Zedd), she and her henchmen always entertain the audience. Their car-themed powers might seem to be a step down from the previous season, but their equipment proves itself to be very useful for these newer situations. Also, a lot of fans might have complained about the newest member of the team being a twelve-year-old boy, but he actually proves himself to be extremely competent. I also think it had a great movie to start it out, which isn’t included in this boxed set, but you should buy it. We have some pretty good episodes at the beginning, and then there is a switchover of rangers. Except for Justin, the kid, all the previous rangers are replaced. The new team is TJ, Cassie, Carlos, Ashley, and, as already mentioned, Justin. We don’t get major introductions to them before they become rangers although Carlos and Ashley appear in a couple of episodes beforehand. However, we get to know them well when they become rangers, and there are some pretty good episodes here. The story-arcs are not my personal favorites, but the individual episodes are mostly great, especially around the end. Although Turbo is not a favorite amongst fans, I find it to be very enjoyable, and a great set-up to the next season. It ends with a two-parter called Chase Into Space, where all of the rangers, except for Justin, leave Earth.

CAST

Christopher Khayman Lee (That 70s Show)
Tracy Lynn Cruz (Eastside)
Roger Velasco (Castle Rock)
Patricia Ja Lee (Hollywood Kills)
Selwyn Ward (A Simple Promise)
Paul Schrier (Wicked Games)
Jason Narvy (Masked Rider)
Melody Perkins (Coyote Ugly)
Hilary Shepard (Full House)
Justin Nimmo (Dude, Where’s My Car?)
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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Johnny Yong Bosch (Marvel Anime: Blade)
Blake Foster (Kid’s World)
Carla Perez (VR Troopers)
Richard Steven Horvitz (The Angry Beavers)
Robert Axelrod (The Blob)
Barbara Goodson (Akira)
David Senstrom (Masked Rider)
Aloma Wright (Scrubs)
Jack Banning (Top Dog)
Ali Afshar (Masked Rider)
Ken Merckz (Orgazmo)
Jack Donner (Stigmata)

Power Rangers in Space is possibly my favorite, and a favorite for many other fans as well. Zeo is definitely a close second for me, but Power Rangers in Space takes things to a whole new level. The four rangers that replaced the previous rangers in Turbo join up with a ranger from outer space, named Andros. They have high-tech (mostly computer-based) powers, and they regularly travel space. The storyline is large. Power Rangers: Turbo ends where Zordon (who gave them their powers at the beginning) is captured by the monarch of all evil. Power Rangers in Space begins where the villains for all of the previous shows are together at a feast. We are introduced to the new villain, Astronema. Although she is joined by Elgar, the most clumsy henchman, from the previous season, we get the addition of Ecliptor, possibly one of the most impressive henchmen that we’ve seen so far. He’s show to be stronger than any of the other henchmen they’ve been up against, and his relationship with Astronema is much more complex than what we have had so far in Power Rangers.

We are also introduced to Darkonda, possibly the most evil of the villains we’ve had. He and Ecliptor also are rivals with each other, and we get something much more complex than heroes vs. villains. It gets even more complex when we find out that Astronema is Andros’ long lost sister, Karone, and Ecliptor even helps her help the rangers. However, the two of them are brainwashed, and we then get evil power rangers. There is a fantastic story-arc here about the psycho rangers. In previous seasons, we’ve seen evil power rangers, but those rangers were fairly easy to defeat. The psycho rangers, however, are difficult to defeat. Another major part of the storyline is their search for Zordon throughout space. This season ends with a resolution to all of the previous seasons of Power Rangers resolved. Usually for closing seasons (which this was partially meant to be), they regularly bring back people from all the previous seasons to reflect on the show. However, I’m, in many ways, glad that they didn’t do that. There was a little bit of that, but mostly not. This was an amazing season, and it ended the continuous storyline.

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CAST

Danny Slavin (Boy Next Door)
Archie Kao (CSI)
Reggie Rolle (Buds for Life)
Valerie Vernon (Power Rangers Time Force)
Cerina Vincent (7 Mummies)
Paul Schrier (Wicked Games)
Jack Banning (Top Dog)
Amy Miller (Rock Star)
Melody Perkins (Coyote Ugly)
Russell Lawrence (The Young and The Restless)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Jason Narvy (Masked Rider)
Tom Whyte (Touched By An Angel)
Bob Papenbrook (Jeepers Creepers 2)
Kerrigan Mahan (Dr. Dolittle)
Ken Merckx (Orgazmo)
Tracy Lynn Cruz (Eastside)
Roger Velasco (Castle Rock)
Patricia Ja Lee (Hollywood Kills)
Selwyn Ward (A Simple Promise)
Carol Hoyt (Sasori In USA)
Rajia Baroudi (Starship: Rising)

Lost Galaxy really has a lot of good upside to it, despite some of its flaws and occasional spotty writing. This season was one of the darkest, with more casualties in this season than any other season, with notable casualties including Kendrix and the Magna Defender (first two rangers to be killed in battle), and the Magna Defender’s son, Zika. Lost Galaxy has a strong cast with some very likable characters such as Leo, Kai, Kendrix, Karone, Maya, and the Magna Defender. While I typically don’t like seeing copy and paste story arcs from the Sentai counterpart, I felt the story surrounding the Magna Defender, Mike, and Leo which was coppied from Gingaman, was well done and fit in really well with the Lost Galaxy story, especially considering Leo’s character, how he cared for his brother, and snuck onto Terra Venture initially. Also adding to the story was the excellent team-up with In Space, the story surrounding Kendrix’s death (unfortunate due to her actress Valarie Varone having leukimia), and Karone’s story as her replacement. Many of the villains are awesome and sympathetic, such as Trakeena, Villamax, and Deviot. The final battle was pretty good as well. Fight scenes were awesome and even the American footage was good during this season. This season’s theme song was also really cool.quasar-sabers-lights-of-orion-lost-galaxy

REVIEW: MASKED RIDER

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MAIN CAST

Ted Jan Roberts (Magic Kid 1 & 2)
Rheannon Slover (The Stooge)
Ashton McArn (VR Troopers)
David Stenstrom (Power Rangers Zeo)
Candace Kita (Two and a Half Men)
Ken Merckx (Power Rangers Time Force)
Jennifer Tung (What Lies Beneath)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUESTSTARS

Ralph Voltrian (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
Libby Letlow (The Bedtime Story)
Matthew Bates (V for Vendetta)
Peter Shinkoda (Daredevil TV)
Winston Story (That 70s Show)
Traci Beluishi (Power Rangers Zeo)
Wendee Lee (Ninja Scroll)
Michael Sorich (VR Troopers)
Steve Kramer (Chronicle)
Michael McConnohie (Akira)
Julie Maddalena (Children of The Corn)
Jason Narvy (Mighty Moprhin Power Rangers)
Bob Papenbrook (Jeepers Creepers 2)
Paul Schrier (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
Ali Afshar (Power Rangers Turbo)
Verne Troyer (Austin Powers)

When Power Rangers was at its peak, children’s television saw a massive influx of Japanese-adapted tokusatsu series. Other studios such as DIC tried their own shows, but Saban truly led the way with no less than four shows of this type. Power Rangers had Super Sentai covered, and the Metal Heroes franchise was channeled into VR Troopers and Big Bad Beetleborgs. Meanwhile the Kamen Rider franchise saw a single Western release in the form of Masked Rider. The character himself appeared in Power Rangers season 3 for a 3-part story before appearing in his own 40-episode show between 1996 and 1997.

On the distant planet of Edenoi (where Power Rangers’ Alpha-5 was created), Prince Dex has been given the powers of the Masked Rider by his grandfather King Lexion to battle his evil uncle, Count Dregon, who is intent on ruling the planet and taking the Masked Rider powers for himself. When Dregon sets his sights on planet Earth, Dex pursues and is taken in by a Hal and Barbara Stewart and their adopted children, Molly and Albee. Following Dex is Ferbus, a small furry creature with a mischievous personality. Using the Masked Rider powers, Dex fights Count Dregon and his army of Insectivores while trying to learn more about human life and keeping his identity a secret. He is aided by two superpowered talking vehicles – a car named Magno and a bike named Battle Chopper (or just Chopper).


Masked Rider is a pretty awful series riddled with flaws. The best place to start with is the beginning, and that’s with the lead characters – Dex and the Stewart family. Much like the original Power Rangers cast, far too greater lengths have been gone to to make these characters “perfect”. An idealised happy family isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it doesn’t make for particularly interesting viewing. Dex is your run-of-the-mill alien on Earth, spouting out TV nonsense and misunderstanding Earth phrases. He also seems to pull a lot of powers out of nowhere when untransformed (such as telekinesis and super speed), which begs the (in-story) question of why the hell he never uses these when fighting as Masked Rider? The series even has its own Bulk and Skull-esque duo in the form of nosey neighbour Patsy Carbunkle and her stereotypical geek friend Herbie, but the less said about these two the better. Masked Rider later gets two extra modes to call on, the originally named “Super Gold” and “Super Blue” modes.While their introductions are among the better episodes Masked Rider has to offer, the real potential of these abilities isn’t really explained and its left to the viewer to draw their own conclusions. Both forms also have the power to upgrade Chopper, but nothing is actually ever done with these upgrades outside their first appearances.

Count Dregon and his band of villains aren’t much better on the character front either. While the (ridiculously awesome looking) Spiderbase is manned by Count Dregon and his generals Nefaria, Double Face, Cyclopter and Gork, Dregon and Nefaria are the ones hogging the majority of the screentime (and also the only ones who actually appear in original footage). Since the show has no real conclusion, Dregon is an “all-talk, no action” villain and we never see him actually do anything than rant. It’s a shame really, because Double Face and Cyclopter are great looking villains and actually engage Masked Rider when they have the opportunity to do something. And even though he doesn’t get the spotlight very often, there’s still too much of the rhyming Gork in this show. The use of source footage was always ropey back in the 90s but Masked Rider has to be one of the worst examples out there. While mainly drawing from the aforementioned Kamen Rider Black RX, the series also uses footage from two other Kamen Rider movies – ZO and J. With both of these film featuring riders with VERY different suits to Black RX you might think that careful editing is involved to make to footafe work, but the fact is most of the times it doesn’t even feel like they tried. Masked Rider’s suit changes every 30 seconds, with tiny bits of new footage added inbetween to (badly) make it seem like everything fits. Blink and you’ll miss it moments they are not. The chopping and changing between American and Japanese out-of-suit footage is equally bad, to the point where you wouldn’t be wrong for thinking the show starred both Prince Dex and Kotaro Minami.


And of course what Masked Rider review would be complete without discussing Ferbus, the furry little creature which many hold as the worst aspect of the series. Ferbus’ antics do indeed ruin a lot of what could be considered the more “serious” episodes of the show, but his inclusion isn’t the biggest misstep this series makes by any means. Had he been toned down a lot more, maybe the series could have struck a better balance between comedy and drama. Masked Rider was a pretty big part of my childhood, and so when I set about rewatching it deep down I hoped it would still hold some charm for me despite knowing how universally disliked it is. But all hope was lost after the first few episodes, as the terrible characters, minimal fight footage and horrific editing became more and more apparent. The lack of a proper ending is just the icing on a rather horrible tasting cake. If you are by any way curious about this series, my advice is to simply watch episodes 1, 2 7, 8, 21 and 37 because they are only ones that are anyway decent (and funnily enough, the only ones that have any real bearing on the overall plot).